NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 S2.04-9395
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Optics Manufacturing and Metrology for Telescope Optical Surfaces
PROPOSAL TITLE: Figuring and Polishing Precision Optical Surfaces

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
OptiPro Systems, LLC
6368 Dean Parkway
Ontario, NY 14519 - 8970
(585) 265-0160

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Mohring
6368 Dean Parkway
Ontario, NY 14519 - 8970
(585) 265-0160

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tim Ansaldi
6368 Dean Parkway
Ontario, NY 14519 - 8970
(585) 265-0160

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Optics Manufacturing and Metrology for Telescope Optical Surfaces is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The requirements for cost effective manufacturing and metrology of large optical surfaces is instrumental for the success of future NASA programs such as LISA, WFIRST and NGXO. Our plan in this Phase I effort would be to combine our UltraForm Finishing (UFF) (a sub-aperture compliant wheel and belt type polishing process for rapid material removal from the ground state to a finished optic), with our newly developed UltraSmooth Finishing (USF). USF is our sub- and mid- aperture conformal pad polishing process capable of larger area finishing and smoothing of mid-spatial frequency errors. The UFF rapidly removes residual grinding marks and sub-surface damage, while providing a robust solution for surface corrections on the required X-ray mandrels and cylindrical shells. Our USF process was initially developed for high speed finishing of hard ceramic plano components and is now producing impressive test results for smoothing of critical aspheric components. OptiPro's technologically advanced optical manufacturing capabilities, along with our strong university and industry partnerships, gives us a very strong team and a clear path towards developing and commercializing the platforms which solve the difficult challenges associated with the fabrication of these large complex mirrors and cylindrical shells.
The proposed Phase I plan will include fabrication, test and delivery of a 0.25 meter precision mirror. The part geometry will be measured with OptiPro's "UltraSurf" a non-contact free-form measurement system. We envision that the work done during Phase I will be extended during Phase II to hyperbolic or elliptical shaped mirror surfaces with dimensions ranging from 1 to 2 meters. This research will position us with the information needed to develop the machine platforms needed for the fabrication and test of these large NASA mirrors, which could also be a Phase II deliverable.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
UltraForm Finishing (UFF) and UltraSmooth Finishing (USF) are CNC processes designed to remove grinding sub surface damage as well as mid spatial frequency errors for both relatively "soft" glasses as well as "hard" metals and ceramics for many applications. These applications may include the fabrication of forming mandrels used to produce multiple segmented shell mirrors for the International X-Ray Observatory (IXO) and (NXGO). The aspheric and freeform optical surfaces required by LISA and WFIRST will also benefit from the fabrication advances made with this endeavor. By integrating finite element analysis (FEA) tools with the UFF and USF computer aided manufacturing (CAM) interface, we will be able to optimize the fabrication process and subsequently reduce and/or completely eliminate mid spatial frequency and slope errors. The UFF has the capability to work with a wide range of traditional optical mediums (i.e., combination of belt materials and loose abrasives) in addition to a variety of sizes of wheels. The USF with its variety of pads, pad shapes and durometer is capable of smoothing a wide variety of materials for other segmented types of telescope systems such as the Advanced Technology Large Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST). The wide variety of loose and bound abrasive slurries make the UFF and USF ideal for finishing hard ceramics, Silicon and SiC. The UFF has shown promise for grinding as well as polishing these hard ceramic surfaces.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Since 1989 OptiPro has developed and refined conceptual technologies into robust deterministic machines and processes for the optical fabrication industry. Non-NASA commercial applications include the fabrication of flats, spheres, aspheres, and complex conformal shapes such as aerodynamic ogive domes. Commercialization of these technologies has developed into very cost effective solutions. The combination of UFF and USF polishing tools can be used to polish a variety of materials, removing grinding marks and subsurface damage. This makes these processes excellent candidates for applications where mid-spatial-frequency and slope surface errors are an issue such as EUV lithography. Another application is for laser amplifiers, such as the Inertial Confinement Fusion National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, at the University of Rochester. For these types of applications, laser damage threshold and irradiance distribution are critical and therefore mid-spatial frequency errors need to be minimized after the polishing stage. These processes are also being utilized for many new military optical systems requiring conformal shaped optics in the very hard optical ceramics and the softer optical glasses. Producers of stainless steel injection mold inserts for military optical visors have also adapted UFF technologies.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
In Situ Manufacturing
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Processing Methods
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37